DSM 5 Criteria For Diagnosis

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The autism spectrum is classed by the CDC (2014) as one of the top three neurodevelopmental disorders. Recent research suggests that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is found to be prevalent in 14.6 of 1000 children aged 8 years in the US (Christensen et al., 2016). ASD is an umbrella that contains 3 disorders, however the DSM 5 includes two rarer childhood developmental conditions. Before this, they were classed conditions independent of each other. This essay will explore how the changes to the DSM 5 criteria for diagnosis will impact clinicians conception of the autism spectrum. This is important for future diagnoses. Beginning with clinical definitions of the disorders, this essay will follow with a critical evaluation of how the changes …show more content…
This may be an issue as a key symptom of ASD is the speech difficulties, especially in adults.
Various studies have been conducted to explore the outcomes of the changes mentioned in this essay. In 2014, Beighley found that the updated criteria was more able to accurately describe the behavioural characteristics than that of the DSM 4. Similarly, Young and Rodi (2014) found that the DSM 4 couldn’t detect social behaviour symptoms as accurately as the DSM 5.
Finally, Peery (2005) found that the changes had affected the accuracy of diagnosis, and that by using a continuum of disorders, there is an ability to distinguish between disorders and their severity.
As explored in this essay, the update criteria of ASD will change how we conceptualise the disorder very much. By using a spectrum style of diagnosis, this will help in understanding ASD as a disorder with various degrees and effects. Not only this, but there is evidence to show that the changes allow for a more accurate diagnosis and shows that ASD is not ‘black and white’ in terms of its severity but more rather works on a scale. With this in mind, future clinicians will be better equipped to provide consistent support and

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